One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A jug with a narrow neck and a long spout, perhaps used for pouring water over the hands before meals.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in James Dallaway (1763–1834), antiquary. From ancient Greek πρόχοος, Attic (contracted form) πρόχους jug, vessel for pouring, especially jug for pouring water over the hands of guests from προ- + -χοος, combining form from an ablaut variant ( o -grade) of the stem of χεῖν to pour, after προχεῖν to pour forth.
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